Skip to main content

Suspense around who organized Dalits' April 2 Bharat bandh, which led to 9 deaths; "outsider" hand suspected

The "unidentified" Gwalior man
By Our Representative
While the violence during the Bharat bandh against the recent Supreme Court ruling of the Prevention of Atrocities (POA) Act led to the death of nine persons, seven of them Dalits, ironically, top Dalit leader, Prakash Ambedkar, who happens to be the grandson of India’s Dalit icon BR Ambedkar, has asserted that suspense remains as to how the all-India protest was organized.
Ambedkar’s suspicion comes amidst a video going viral on social media showing an unidentified man holding a pistol, hiding behind a wall, and firing in Gwalior even as the Dalits were protesting in the city for their rights. There is no clarity on who shot the video.
Among others, senior journalist Rajdeep Sardesai seemed to agree with the theory that there was “outsider” hand behind the violence. He said, the Gwalior man with the gun in the photograph which went into circulation was an upper caste. “So my question is: Who fuelled the violence during today's bandh and to whose benefit?”, he asked.
Insisting that there was a need to probe on how the deaths in during the Bharat bandh took place, Ambedkar said, he was in talks with several Dalit organisations for a bandh which he proposed for April 9. Even when the talks were on, a message for a bandh call began being circulated for April 2.
According to Ambedkar, in no time the call for bandh on April 2 “went viral” with at least 15-20,000 Dalit organisations all over north India endorsed it. He added, no one owned the message, and despite effort he was unable trace it to an original source.
Pointing out that this only goes to suggest how spontaneous Dalit anger was, Ambedkar said, protests took place without any coordination committee, or discussion, or even a resolution of demands. Dalits came out on the roads in a spontaneous’ outburst. The anger was real and palpable.
Even as insisting that the role of ‘outsiders’ involvement should be probed, Ambedkar said, the anger became widespread because the government remained silent on what it proposed to do with regard to POA Act at a time when there was a hike in the atrocities against the Dalits.
Ambedkar further said, this anger was further stoked by the active participation of Hindutva organisations in anti-Dalit violence in several states which has been taking place, adding this anger was more evident in north Indian states, which bore the brunt of the violence on April 2.
Ambedkar believed, the Dalits were merely responding to the government’s silence on the atrocities committed against them, with the courts dilution of the POA Act coming as the proverbial last straw.
Meanwhile, reports are pouring in to suggest that Central agencies are in the dark as to whether it was Bhim Army, National Confederation for Dalit Organisations (NACDOR) or an unidentified Dalit youth, who may have given the call through a WhatsApp message for Bharat Bandh around a week ago.
India’s top security brass went into huddle as millions of demonstrators from Dalit organisations, carrying signs with slogans like "Country will be govern by Constitution and not fascism", descended on the streets across the country on Monday, opposing Supreme Court ruling on the POA Act.
However, said keen observers, one thing that clearly emerged all through was, India’s law enforcement machinery, including its local intelligence units, failed to assess the situation on the ground.

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Liberating Bengal Hindus? Worst flames of communal division, lessons from the past

By Shamsul Islam*  The whole thrust of the RSS-BJP election campaign for 2021 state assembly elections in West Bengal has been to save Bengal from the rule of Mamata Bannerjee who is allegedly not a ‘Hindu’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a self-proclaimed Hindu nationalist, as usual set the polarizing agenda. While addressing the first election rally, he called upon the electorate to overthrow the ‘nirmam’ (cruel) rule of Mamata by showing a ‘Ram Card’. He did not name Hindus directly but there was no confusion about the religious identity of the electorate Indian PM was addressing to.

Pradeep Bhattacharya, who spent his life for the cause of working masses, rational thinking

By YS Gill*  At 11:30 pm on May 3, 2021, I lost my best friend and comrade Pradeep Bhattacharya. He spent his life dedicated to the cause of the working masses and rational thinking. A person of thorough scientific outlook and a well-read student of Marxian thought, he was a walking encyclopedia and could speak on a wide variety of topics from art and culture to science, philosophy, history and politics.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Rs 5 crore 'demand' for India Today anchor: What about 52 lesser souls who died in April?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  A well known Hindutva protagonist masquerading as journalist passed away recently resulting in messages of condolences and tribute right from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to progressive liberals expressing grief of his untimely death. It is said that he passed away due to cardiac arrest, though the fact is, he was also Covid infected. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister termed him a ‘brave’ journalist, insisting, his passing away has left a big ‘vacuum’.

Modi's Hindutva 'ensuring' empowerment of rich, disenfranchisement of poor

Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The Hindutva socio-psychopaths are neither nationalists nor patriotic people. These medieval reactionary forces don’t understand the idea of citizenship, justice, liberty, equality and humanism. Indian democracy is merely an electoral transaction for the Hindutva forces. Hindutva forces neither follow science nor understand the sufferings of fellow human beings. These core qualities are common among the Hindutva forces in India.

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

India's Covid-19 'nightmare': A product of majoritarian Hindutva ideological praxis?

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Indians struggle to find place and time to bury their dead due to the devastating effects of the second wave of Covid-19 in India. The crematoriums in the capital cities are overflowing with dead bodies. People are dying without oxygen and basic medical support. The cities like Delhi and Mumbai are struggling to cope with the rising number of infections and COVID-19 led deaths. The deaths and destitutions are products of a defunct BJP government led by Narendra Modi.

Indian media persons collapsing to Covid disease as fast as 3 per day, third highest

Yogesh Sharma, Shailesh Rawal  By Our Representative  The Switzerland based media rights and safety body, Press Emblem Campaign ( PEC ) has said that it is “alarming for Indian journalists”, who have lost at least 107 colleagues to Covid-19”, noting, Indian “journo-colleagues” have been collapsing to the Covid-19 complications now as fast as three scribes per day. In a statement, PEC said, “India with 107 media corona-casualties has already placed itself on the third position just below Brazil (181 dead) and Peru (140) in the list of Covid-19 victims among journalist.”